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The dancing teacher Anastasia falls in love with the smart theatre agent Jud. He likes her, too, but does not want to give up his solo life at all. Thus she plans a trap for him... Written by
In 1951 star Larry Parks was among the first Hollywood personalities to admit that he had been a member of the Communist Party, in testimony before the House Un-American Activities Committee. He was subsequently among those blacklisted in Hollywood, and the release of this film was delayed as a result. See more »
I went into this with the full expectation of turning it off once I got the gist of it, and got a good look at Elizabeth Taylor just at the point her career and her beauty were reaching their heights. Surprisingly, I watched it all the way through and enjoyed several mildly humorous moments--no great belly laughs, but solidly amusing moments nonetheless.
The plot is paper thin, and it's a compliment that director Stanley Donen was able to get a full length feature out of what could easily been a short pilot for a sitcom. Also escalating the material are Old Pro character actors at the top of their game, such as Kathleen Freeman as a loyal seamstress and Ann Doran as the meddling mother of Elizabeth Taylor's dance rival, played by a very young (and blond) Elinor Donihue. It is no wonder these ladies enjoyed very lengthy careers in literally hundreds of films.
But the real heart of the film is Taylor's lovable, understanding father played by Tom Tully, as the type of Dad we wish we all had, but few actually did.
The only part of this film that hasn't aged well is the lead character, played by Larry Parks. This film was made at a time when male characters got away with far more sexist behavior than any man would get away with today. In fact, if a man in New York--no matter how well dressed or handsome--behaved in such ways toward a woman he just met today...well, she'd probably summon the nearest police officer! If you're willing to overlook that major flaw, you might enjoy this romantic comedy, especially the madcap children's dance recital at the end. The kids are terrible throughout the film, which makes it all the more funny.
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